Michael McDonald

Perhaps one of the more recognizable voices in popular music over the last 40 years belongs to St. Louis-born Michael McDonald, who turns 60 today.  McDonald gained particular notoriety in the 1970s, first to some extent with Steely Dan and then, much more famously, as a member of the Doobie Brothers.  As part of his stint with the Doobie Brothers, McDonald sang lead vocals on on one of the band’s two numbers one hits, “What A Fool Believes,” which topped Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart for one week in April 1979.  After the Doobies split up in the early 1980s, McDonald pursued a solo career, which included top 5 singles with “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” which reached number 4 in October 1982, and his biggest hit, the duet “On My Own” with Patti Labelle, which spent three weeks at number 1 in June 1986.  Meanwhile, McDonald appeared as a backup singer on hits for a number of other artists, including Christopher Cross’s “Ride Like The Wind” in 1980 and Toto’s “I’ll Be Over You” in 1986, among others.

While I like a lot of McDonald’s songs, perhaps the most memorable for me is “Sweet Freedom” which hit number 7 in August 1986.  The song came from the film Running Scared, whose stars, Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines, also appeared alongside McDonald in the video for the song, which is featured above.  In honor of McDonald’s 60th birthday, what’s your favorite Michael McDonald song from any stage of his career?

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